I spent most of my life getting complimented in the white spaces I occupied for being so “well-spoken” and gentlemanly. I did not present like the Black men that white people cross the street to get away from. I never wanted to be associated with thugs or a criminal element. I bought into the idea that I would be accepted in those spaces by separating myself from the stereotypes of Black men. My desire to become an officer was partly for these reasons. I fooled myself for years.
For the 12 years working the job, I disassociated myself from the derogatory comments or backhanded compliments I would hear from officers. Macroaggressions and microaggressions all ignored or waved off. Compartmentalizing was my superpower. My worldview began to crack in 2014, when Tamir Rice was murdered. The Cleveland police report was a complete fabrication especially when lined up against the video.
I was not naïve enough to believe that officers did not lie. Part of the job was to mislead suspects into incriminating themselves. This was wholly different and finally it clicked in my own head that false or misleading reports were the norm, not the exception. The arrestees and victims of police violence don’t get to set the narrative, too often because they are dead. The public image of police officers as unassailable paragons of virtue makes it more difficult for those accused of a crime to counter those narratives. “You got arrested, you must have done something wrong”.
Then it was 2016 and all the officers I worked with were vocally anti-Hillary. Never openly for Mango Unchained, at least not in my presence, but the writing was on the wall. The cowardice I perceived, did – and does still – stupefy me. I may not have the right words to convey how isolated I felt on Wednesday November 9th, 2016. I had drunk the Kool-aid and it had finally worn off. I felt surrounded.
I paid closer attention to the body work and insignias that some of the officers bore. A few of the training officers, all white, flashed Three-Percenters and Oath Keepers tattoos. At the time, neither group was well known. These were the people giving guidance to the new recruits. Indoctrinating, some unwittingly, into a cesspool of racist ideals and attitudes that has led to the destruction of black and brown bodies. This must be stopped.
Defunding the police will not be enough and we can’t even come close to that at the moment. To call the system corrupt would be to presume that it became that way and was not born that way. It was the egg, not the chicken. Finally seeing my department for what it is, made me sick to my stomach for taking part in it.
The power of white supremacy is strong. The Republican Party is synonymous with the white power structure and holds up any person of color that supports this system as a token of how Republicans are not racist. Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R-KY), Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Vernon Jones (D-GA), and Trash Demon Candace Owens (R-Hell) and too many others want to benefit from white supremacy. I ignorantly and naively wanted that too. For that I am regretful and sorry.
There is a vast ocean of racism and injustice. All we have is a spoon with which to bail it out. I’m hopeful that we can do better, electing Joe Biden, and doing away with the Republican fuckery in the Senate. The police will never change unless the power of the people rises against it. There is still time to make substantial, positive change. I did.
McSquirrel yada, yada, yada.